The budget and business rates: no surprises
Chancellor Phillip Hammond announced a handful of relief schemes for those hardest hit by increases in liability resulting from the 2017 Rating Revaluation. This amounts to an additional £435m in relief to that already provided by the transitional rates relief scheme. This includes:
- Support for businesses losing small business rates relief as a result of an increase in rateable value – a mandatory scheme.
- A £300m pot for Billing Authorities to grant discretionary relief to those hardest hit by increases in liability – usual discretionary rules apply.
- Pubs with rateable value of less than £100,000 to get a £1,000 discount on rates they pay – a mandatory scheme and similar to the old retail relief scheme.
So, there is a few hundred million to sprinkle around London and the South East but we still have to see fuller criteria for qualification for the hardship fund…
Interestingly, there is a recognition that the majority of the problems arise as a result of the delay in the revaluation with Government now clearly looking at delivering more frequent revaluations.
The retail and hospitality sectors are mobilising the troops with dire warnings that thousands of business are at risk if the rates holiday isn’t extended beyond April 2021.
The pandemic has led to more than 50,000 extra appeals being lodged against business rates by Scottish firms alone.
Calls are getting louder in the retail sector for the government to take urgent measures to soften the blow of business rates. High profile owner of Frasers Group Mike...